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Category: Sports

Coffee County Basketball Splits District Opener on Friday Night

Ellie Graham of CHS basketball

The Coffee County CHS basketball teams opened up district play on Friday in Winchester.  Taking on their old rival Franklin County, the Lady Raiders raced out to a huge lead and coasted to a 73 to 34 win.  The Red Raiders had a last-second shot come up short as they fell 73 to 70 to the Rebels. 

The Lady Raiders got off to a red-hot start hitting seven 1st National Bank 3-point baskets in the first half to lead 38 to 17 at intermission.  Coffee County went on a 16 to nothing run in the middle of the 3rd quarter to take a 30 point lead into the fourth quarter as Coach Joe Pat Cope emptied his bench.   Ten different Lady Raiders scored on the night led by Ellie Graham who had 16 points and she was named the Stonefort Mortgage player of the game.   Bella Vinson added 14 points as Coffee County improved to 9 and 2 on the year and 1 and 0 in district play.

Kyle Farless of CHS basketball

The Red Raiders got off to a slow start trailing 11 to 3 in the first quarter. Coffee County battled back and tied the game at 35 going to the half.  In the second half Franklin County used 2nd chance points to pull out to an 11 point lead midway through the 4th quarter.  Coffee County cut the deficit to 3 with 14 seconds to play but missed a pair of last-second three-point shots in the loss.   Coffee County’s regular season record now stands at 7 and 4.   Kyle Farless led Coffee County in scoring with 20 points as he was named the Stonefort Mortgage player of the game.  Jaylon Wooten had 18 points while Jackson Vaughn added 10. 

The Lady Raiders will travel to Chattanooga on Saturday night to take on Baylor.  That game will take place at 4 PM(EST) at Baylor.(see that story HERE)  Both the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders will return home on Monday for a make-up game with Columbia.  Thunder Radio will be on hand on Monday night to bring you the district matchup with Columbia.  The Powers Storage Pregame Show tips off our live coverage at 5:50.  Tipoff is set for 6:00 PM at the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gym. 

Download the broadcast at: www.ThunderRadio.com/Downloads

Coffee County Wrestlers Have Impressive Team Finishes at Tullahoma Meet

Chris Speagle of CHS Wrestling

The Coffee County CHS wrestling teams traveled to Tullahoma on Saturday to compete in the Garner-Dyer Individual Invitational.  The Red Raiders got a 9th place team finish and 3 medalists.  The Lady Raiders finished in 6th place with 2 medalists having only 4 wrestlers competing.

The Red Raiders got 3rd place finishes from Gavin Prater(at 145 pounds) and Christopher Speagle(220).  Jeremiah Wardell captured a 4th place finish for the Red Raiders who finished ahead of region rivals Tullahoma, Shelbyville, LaVergne and Rockvale.  Prater finished the day with 2 wins via byes, a pair of pinfall wins and a decision win.  Speagle grabbed 2 byes and 2 pinfall wins.  Wardell got a bye, 3 pinfall wins and a major decision win.  In the heavyweight class, Cardin Stump got a bye and 2 pins before falling short of the medal round. 

Mary Anne Walker of CHS Wrestling

The Lady Raiders high medalist was Mary Anne Walker who finished in 2nd place in the 132 division.  Walker grabbed a pair of pinfall wins and a bye on the day.  Mary Wolfrum got 2 pins and a decision win to grab 4th place in the 125 division.  Alanna Coker grabbed a pinfall and decision win to go along with a bye at 112 as she just missed the medal round.  Lyra Leftwich got a pain of pinfall wins in a crowded 140 division bracket as she was eliminated just short of the medal round. 

The Raider grapplers will be back in action at home twice this week as they host home matches at the Raiders Academy on Tuesday and Thursday.  On Tuesday, Coffee County will host region foes Shelbyville and Lawrence County in an important tri-match.  On Thursday night, the Raiders will co-host a match with the Coffee County Youth Wrestlers as they welcome Cascade and the Cascade Youth program.  Matches both nights begin at 6 PM. 

Coffee County Elementary Basketball League Crowns Westwood and College Street as Season Champs

2019 Coffee County Youth Basketball League champion Westwood Lady Eagles

The Coffee County Youth Basketball League crowned their 2019 champions in Saturday’s finals at CHS.  In the girls’ games, North Coffee beat East Coffee in the consolation game while Westwood edged New Union.  In the boys’ games, Westwood squeaked by New Union in the consolation game and College Street dropped North Coffee in the championship game. 

In the girls’ consolation, North Coffee bested East Coffee 21 to 15.  Sierra Star led the Lady Chargers in points with 13 while Danni Hillis added 8 points.  For the Lady Warriors, Rylee Fuller was the leading scorer as she had 13 points and  Taylor McBride added 2 points.

In the boys’ consolation, Westwood came back from a halftime deficit to grab a 23 to 22 win over New Union.  Caleb Hill was the leading scorer for the victorious Eagles as he finished with 8 points.  Aiden Walker added 5 points for Westwood.   New Union was led in scoring by Audie Nicoll who had 11 points while Jacob Mullen added 4 points for the Rebels.

In the girls’ championship, Westwood had to hold off a furious New Union rally to get a 17 to 14 win.   After holding the Lady Rebels scoreless in the 1st half, Westwood saw New Union fight their way back to cut the deficit to 1 point in the waning minutes of the game.  Westwood finished the season with a perfect 10 and 0 record to gain their 2nd straight league title and 4th league title in the last 6 years.  Jules Ferrell led Westwood in scoring with 8 points.  Reese Finch added 3 points for the Lady Eagles.  Jaydee Nogodula led the New Union comeback as she scored a team high 7 points with 4 of them coming in the 4th quarter. Kaysen Morgan added 4 points for the Lady Rebels.

2019 Coffee County Youth Basketball League champion College Street Cougars

In the boys’ championship, College Street opened up an early 5 point lead in the 1st quarter against North Coffee as they rolled to a 35 to 14 win.   The Cougars never trailed in the game as they claimed their 7th straight title.  Gabriel Hambly led College Street in scoring with 10 points while Carter Bell chipped in 8 points.  Brady Sizemore led the Chargers in scoring with 4 points. 

Members of the Westwood girls’ and College Street boys’ teams will be guests on Saturday’s Coffee Coaches Show to review their seasons.  The Coffee Coaches Show airs at 10 AM each Saturday and is broadcast live from the showroom of Al White Ford/Lincoln.   The Coffee Coaches Show is heard exclusively on Thunder Radio.

Coffee County CHS Swim Teams Celebrates Senior Night on Friday

Coffee County swim coach Becky Behrendorff(left) with CHS senior swimmers(left to right) Lindsey Cauble, Laura Fletcher and Kalyee Williams[Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Gilday]

Hosting Senior Night on Friday night, the Coffee County CHS swim team welcomed five middle school and nine high school teams to the Manchester Recreation Center for their final home meet of the season.   Honoring seniors Lindsey Cauble, Laura Fletcher and Kaylee Williams, the CHS team went 6 and 1 overall as the girls were 7 and 0 and the boys went 4 and 4.  The Coffee County Middle School team went 3 and 1 on the night as the boys were 3 and 1 and the girls were 1 and 3.  The Westwood team got 1 win, 1 loss and 1 tie.  The Lady Rockets were 3 and 1 for the meet while the boys lost all 4 of their matchups. 

The Coffee County CHS girls’ team got a 1st place team relay finish in the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay.  Team members were Elli Masters, Kaylee Williams, Emily Williams and Kennedy Norman-Young for both teams. 

CHS swimmers with top 3 performances in the heats were:
Nick Bogle – 1st place – 200 freestyle(1:58.59); 1st place – 50 freestyle(24.01);
Kaylee Williams – 1st place – 200 IM(2:22.33); 1st place – 100 breaststroke(1:10.95);
Kennedy Norman-Young – 1st place – 100 butterfly(1:09.64); 2nd place – 100 breaststroke(1:21.85);
Emily Williams – 2nd place – 100 butterfly(1:09.69); 2nd place – 100 backstroke(1:12.25)
Lindsey Cauble – 2nd place – 50 freestyle(30.58);

The Westwood Middle School girls’ team grabbed a 2nd place finish, among middle schools, in the 200 medley and the 200 freestyle with team members Cale Hays, Elsie Lazalier, Abby Gilday and Ansley Beachboard swimming both races.  

Westwood swimmers with top 3 performances in the heats were:
Abby Gilday – 1st place – 200 freestyle(2:23.39);
Elsie Lazalier – 3rd place – 200 freestyle(2:28.21);

The Coffee County Middle School girls’ team grabbed a 4th place finish, among middle schools, in the 200 medley and the 200 freestyle with team members Patience Driggers, Katelyn Hale, Constance Eldridge and Emily Snider swimming the freestyle.     Swimming the medley were: Patience Driggers, Katelyn Hale, Eva Rigney and Emily Snider.  The high individual heat performance for Coffee Middle was captured by Brayden Kesling who finished in 5th place in the 100 backstroke.

The swimmers will now be off until January.  The swimmers will travel to Winchester on January 9th for a meet with Franklin County. 

Lady Raider Basketball Gets Road Win at Baylor on Saturday

Ellie Chumley of CHS basketball

The Coffee County CHS Lady Raider basketball team traveled to Chattanooga on Saturday night for a non-district matchup at Baylor.  After falling behind in the 1st quarter, the Lady Raiders rallied to get the road win.  Coffee County came home with a 45 to 35 win over Baylor.

The Lady Raiders got off to a slow start as they were held to 7 points in the 1st quarter to trail by 4 going into the 2nd period.  In the 2nd quarter, the Lady Raiders outscored Baylor 14 to 3 to seize control of the contest and grab a season sweep over Baylor.   Ellie Chumley led Coffee County in scoring as she had 11 points.  Ellie Graham finished with 10 points while Jenna Garretson, Jalie Ruehling and Bella Vinson each scored 8.

The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders will return home on Monday for a make-up game with Columbia.  Thunder Radio will be on hand on Monday night to bring you the district match-up with Columbia.  The Powers Storage Pregame Show tips off our live coverage at 5:50.  Tip-off is set for 6:00 PM at the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gym. 

Temple Baptist Basketball Splits Friday Doubleheader in Cleveland

Alex Gloden of Temple basketball

The Temple Baptist Christian School basketball hit the road on Friday traveling to Cleveland, TN to take on Shenandoah Baptist Academy.   The JV Eagles 2nd half rally came up short as they fell 15 to 13.  The varsity Eagles leveled their season record with a 29 to 18 win. 

In the JV game, the Eagles were held to 2 points in the 1st half before rallying and outscoring Shenandoah 11 to 5 in the 2nd half.  Sam Floyd led Temple in scoring with 8 points.  David Tran added 5. 

In the varsity game, the Eagles got their offense going in the 2nd half matching the great defense played all game long.  Leading by 2 at intermission, the Eagles outscored Shenandoah 20 to 11 in the 2nd half to grab the win and raise their season record to 5 and 5.  Alex Gloden was the leading scorer for Temple as he had 13 points to go with 6 rebounds and 8 steals.  Mich Gloden added 6 while Sam Floyd and John Green each netted 4.

The Eagles return home on Tuesday when they welcome Shelbyville’s Victory Baptist Academy.  That JV/Varsity doubleheader gets underway at 5 PM at the E.C. Bailey Gym. 

Preds Frustrated in Loss to Stars

Austin Watson scored the lone goal for the Nashville Predators, as they fell to the Dallas Stars by a 4-1 final on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.

The preview of the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic left the Predators frustrated at the end of the night, with the Stars scoring four unanswered in the second period on their way to handing the Preds their second-straight loss.

“It’s been a rough go for too long,” Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne said. “It’s another tough loss, especially at home. By the end of the game, there was probably half the people left in the arena, and it makes me obviously embarrassed by the results at home. We’ve got to be better.”

“Frustrating, yes, and embarrassing is another one that can kind of cover that,” Watson said. “It just hasn’t been good enough.”

After a scoreless first period, Watson gave the home team the first lead of the night when he tipped in a shot early in the second. But it was all Dallas after that. Blake Comeau, Roope Hintz, Jamie Oleksiak and Andrew Cogliano all tallied for the Stars before the end of the second stanza, and that was more than enough to hold on for the victory.

“It wasn’t a quantity thing, it was the quality [of Dallas’ chances],” Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s not like we were under siege, but the mistakes we were making, they’re costing us, they’re too big. We need to quiet the game down defensively just from a quality standpoint, not a quantity standpoint, and right now they’re capitalizing.”

“They pretty much got those four chances and they scored on every one of them,” Rinne said of the Stars’ goals. “We made a few mistakes, and then they made us pay right away. I’ve got to find a way to at least make some of those saves.”

Predators forward Colin Blackwell, who was recalled prior to Saturday’s game, and winger Yakov Trenin co-led the team with four hits apiece and earned their praises of their coach in the loss.

“We need to invest more in the game, and I thought he invested a lot,” Laviolette said of Blackwell. “He played the game hard, he was fast, he was attacking the game all night, he was physical, he was passionate, and I thought him and Trenin both did the same, tried to implement the same type of game and it was noticeable. They were able to move the puck, get it into the offensive zone, sustain pressure, establish a forecheck and they had a lot of purpose to their game, so they were noticeable.”

Nashville will now fly to New York to begin a four-game road trip on Monday night (at 6 p.m. CT) against the Rangers, and they know they’ll need a much-improved effort for a chance to find success in their upcoming outings.

“It’s always frustrating, it doesn’t really matter what our previous record is,” Preds forward Filip Forsberg said. “It’s been happening, it’s not good enough and we need to change it quick.”


Preds forward Mikael Granlund missed Saturday’s game and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm also missed Saturday’s contest due to illness.

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Predators recalled forward Colin Blackwell from Milwaukee and reassigned forward Daniel Carr to the Admirals.

The Predators will now head back on the road for a four-game trip, and it starts on Monday night in Manhattan when they take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It’s then on to Long Island, Ottawa and Boston before returning home to host Arizona two days before Christmas.

Pete Weber’s Postgame Report

Titans Come Up Short in 24-21 Loss to Texans

A second-half comeback energized Nissan Stadium on Sunday, but in the end the Titans fell short in a 24-21 loss to the Texans in a critical AFC South contest.

“It’s hugely disappointing,” said Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. “I was excited about the opportunity — I think our entire team was, and we didn’t come out and play well early. And when you play against good teams in this league you have to play them for four quarters, not two.”

Tannehill completed 22-of-36 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns in the contest, while running back Derrick Henry carried the ball for 86 yards on 21 carries in the game. Receiver A.J. Brown turned in another stellar performance, catching eight passes for 114 yards and a touchdown.

But the Titans had trouble stopping the Texans on a day when they made too many mistakes in all three phases of the game.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 243 yards and two touchdown passes for the Texans – receiver DeAndre Hopkins had 119 receiving yards, and receiver Kenny Stills had two touchdown catches. It was too much to overcome for the Titans, who saw a huge 14-point swing early change the game.

The Titans dropped to 8-6 with the loss, and now trail the Texans (9-5) in the AFC South with two games left in the regular season. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Titans, who had won six of seven games heading into Sunday’s contest.

“I am going to try and focus on some of the things that I saw when (players) came back, and fought back, but that’s going to be hard to do right now (after the loss),” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “I would say that we have to all do a better job of preparing and ultimately coaching and playing on Sunday.”

With the Titans trailing 14-0 in the third quarter, Tannehill scored on a one-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-goal play, which capped off a 15-play, 76-yard drive that took 9:26 off the clock to make it 14-7.

With a second-and-goal at the Tennessee four-yard line, the Texans were on the verge of extending their lead. But defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons tipped a pass from Watson and linebacker Jayon Brown intercepted it in the end zone.

The Titans then tied he game at 14-14 on a five-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to A.J. Brown, which sent the Nissan Stadium crowd into a frenzy. The score was set up by a 57-yard run by Jonnu Smith, who lined up in the backfield, took the pitch, and sprinted deep into Houston territory.

But the Texans reclaimed the lead on a 10-yard touchdown run by Carlos Hyde with 10:34 left, and a field goal by kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn made it 24-14 with 3:26 left.

The Titans cut the lead to 24-21 on a touchdown pass from Tannehill to running back Dion Lewis with 2:04 left, but couldn’t recover the onsides kick and the Texans ran the clock down to just 28 seconds before punting it away. When the Titans got the ball, they couldn’t do anything with it and time expired with the Texans celebrating.

“I think everybody in this whole room is disappointed,” Titans safety Kevin Byard said after the contest. “We just didn’t play consistently enough in all phases. We played good in spurts. Defensively we didn’t make enough plays when it counted and we can’t get down 14 points to a good team like Houston. Credit to the Texans – they made plays and we didn’t stop them enough.”

There were some big swings early.

The Texans put together a nice drive on the opening possession, but it ended with Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro intercepting Watson on the one-yard line.

When the Titans got the ball, they quickly moved into field goal position following a 60-yard pass from Tannehill to Brown. But the possession stalled, and kicker Ryan Succop’s 45-yard attempt was blocked.

Later, the Titans failed to execute a fake punt when punter Brett Kern’s pass to safety Dane Cruikshank fell incomplete.

“I’ll back and take a look at it and see what happened and see what I can do better the next time we are out there,” said Succop, who is now 1-of-6 on the season. “I am out here battling, I am doing everything that I can. Unfortunately, it just hasn’t been as good as it needs to obviously.”

The Titans appeared to be on the verge of jumping ahead early in the second quarter, but a Tannehill pass to tight end Anthony Firkser was dislodged near the goalline by safety Justin Reid and intercepted by linebacker Whitney Mercilus, who returned it to the Tennessee 12-yard line.

Two plays later, Watson connected with receiver Kenny Stills for a 12-yard touchdown pass to give the Texans a 7-0 lead.

It was a huge 14-point swing.

“I didn’t do my job well enough,” Firkser said. “I have to do my job better, complete the catch and hold onto the ball. I’ve got to control it better. Ryan put it on me, and I was trying to make the catch.”

The Texans made it 14-0 on their next possession as Houston capped off a nine-play, 72-yard drive with another touchdown pass from Watson to Stills, this one for 16 yards, and the Texans had a two-touchdown lead at the half.

While the Titans battled back, it wasn’t enough.

The Titans face the Saints next Sunday at Nissan Stadium before ending the season in Houston against the Texans.

Coffee County Wrestling Splits 1st Home Matches of the Season

Alana Coker of CHS wrestling

Hosting their first home matches of the year, the Coffee County CHS wrestling team welcomed Forrest and LaVergne to the Raider Academy on Thursday for a tri-match.  The Red Raiders opened the night with a 46 to 30 loss to LaVergne.  The Lady Raiders got a 36 to 6 win over LaVergne.  In the night cap, Coffee County’s boys beat Forrest 46 to 30.

Against LaVergne, Mary Anne Walker got a pair of pins while Alana Coker got a pin and an injury forfeit win.  Lyra Leftwich and Mary Wolfram each scored pinfall wins for the Lady Raiders.  For the Red Raiders, Jeremiah Wardell(113 pounds), Cardin Stump(285), Chris Speegle(220), Zach Speegle(170) and Hunter Massey(126) all got pin fall wins. 

Cardin Stump of CHS wrestling

Against Forrest, Jeremiah Wardell(106 pounds), Gavin Prater(152), and Cardin Stump(285) got pinfall wins.  Hunter Massey(132) got a 13 to 2 decision win while Shon Taylor(160), Zach Speegle(170), Russell Ralph(182) and Chris Speegle(220) all won via forfeit. 

The Raider grapplers will suit up on Saturday in Tullahoma as they take part in the Garner-Dyer Invitational.  Both the boys’ and girls’ teams will be in action.  First matches are set to get underway at 9 AM at Tullahoma High School.   

Coffee County Middle School Basketball Sweeps North Franklin in Thursday Doubleheader

Channah Gannon of CCMS basketball

The Coffee County Middle School basketball teams squared off against North Franklin on Thursday night at the CCMS gym.  The Lady Raiders rolled to a 41 to 29 win.  The Red Raiders fought off a tough Gator squad to get a 28 to 24 win. 

The Lady Raiders held the Lady Gators to 5 points in the 1st half as they built a 23 to 5 lead at intermission.  North rallied in the 2nd half but Coffee County hit 12 of their 19 second half free throws to grab the win.  Coffee County was led in scoring by Olivia Vinson who finished with 16 points.  Taylor Anthony added 11 points.  Channah Gannon and Samantha Kirby each finished with 5 points. 

Ethan Hargrove of CCMS basketball[file photo]

The Red Raiders trailed 19 to 16 entering the 4th quarter after trailing for much of the 1st half.  In the 4th quarter, the Red Raiders took the lead at 22 to 21 with about 3 minutes remaining and held on for the conference win.  Ethan Hargrove was the leading scorer for the Red Raiders as he had 14 points, including 5 in the final frame.  Cooper Reed added 8 points and Jackson Shemwell finished with 4. 

Coffee Middle’s cage teams will be back at home on Monday as they welcome Harris to the CCMS gym.  Tip-off is set for 6 PM.